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the capital by territory controlled by the MPLA. It is no doubt very low in ammunition and supplies. Despite its threats, the FNLA seems in no position to wage sustained war at the present time, particularly if it should try to force its way back into Luanda.

6. It is probably too late for Portugal to guarantee security in the territory. Until now, Portuguese military authorities have been hoping they would not have to order the 24,000 Portuguese troops remaining in Angola to intervene between the two hostile liberation groups because they fear the very real danger that the troops would refuse. Lisbon is also faced with the possibility that troops from Portugal proper will refuse to go to Angola.

7. Portuguese Foreign Minister Antunes rushed to Luanda but was unable to arrange a cease-fire. He subsequently informed UN Secretary General Waldheim that Lisbon may have to take “emergency measures” in order to guarantee a relatively peaceful transition to independence for the territory. Antunes hinted last Sunday night prior to his departure for Luanda that Lisbon might have to appeal to the UN in order to protect the decolonization process.

8. Whatever the Portuguese and the FNLA may have in mind, the MPLA appears determined to score a military victory against its competitors, including the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), the smallest of the three liberation groups. The UNITA has refused to take sides in the fighting between its larger rivals but on several occasions has been attacked by the MPLA.

9. Zairian President Mobutu is clearly in a quandary. Because of economic difficulties he has been forced to cut back drastically on his substantial aid to the FNLA at a time when the FNLA has met serious reverses.

10. Mobutu strongly opposes the MPLA and wants to keep Neto from becoming president of an independent Angola. He probably has been seriously jolted by the FNLA's poor showing in the latest fighting.

11. Prior to that fighting, Mobutu was reassessing his relationship with Holden Roberto. Mobutu seems to have concluded that the FNLA would be unable to win a protracted war against its chief rival. Mobutu apparently also believes Roberto's position has been damaged by his long-standing refusal to return to Angola from Zaire. Roberto fears that he would be politically embarrassed if he failed to match the personal popularity of Agostinho Neto on appearance in Luanda and that he could even be assassinated.

12. According to reliable sources, Mobutu believes Jonas Savimbi of UNITA should be the primary political figure in an independent Angolan government, with Roberto as a figurehead president and Neto as vice-president. Mobutu reportedly discussed his concerns with Savimbi in a meeting in Kinshasa in late May. B. Other Developments

2 July 13.

1. President Mobutu continues to ask for a concrete demonstration of U.S. support for his efforts to prevent a takeover of Angola by the MPLA. He is alarmed by the large influx of Soviet arms to the MPLA and the defeat of the FNLA in Luanda.

2. President Kaunda has also been concerned about an MPLA-dominated Angola on his borders. There have been recent signs, however, that MPLA successes may be causing him to feel obliged to make some accommodation with the MPLA.

3. In addition to arms previously supplied to the FNLA by the PRC and Zaire, there may be deliveries of arms for Roberto and possibly Savimbi from other countries.

[Omitted here is detailed discussion of phases 1 and 2 of the covert action plan for Angola.]

Memorandum of Conversation!

Washington, July 17, 1975, 9:55–10:40 a.m.


The President
Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for

National Security Affairs
Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, Deputy Assistant to the President for National

Security Affairs


Frank Lindsay; Angola; Zaire; Middle East
[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to Angola.)

Kissinger: On Angola. I favor action. If the U.S. does nothing when the Soviet-supported group gains dominance, I think all the movements will draw the conclusions that they must accommodate to the Soviet Union and China. I think reluctantly we must do something. But you must know that we have massive problems within the State Department. They are passionately opposed and it will leak.

1 Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 282, Memoranda of Conversations, Presidential File, July 1975. Secret; Nodis. The meeting took place in the Oval Office.

President: How about Davis?
Kissinger: He will resign and take some with him.
President: After what you and I did for him.

Kissinger: I also have a problem with the Ambassador to Tanzania. He participated in giving the ransom for the students. I would like to recall and retire him. But you have to know there would be a major blow-up-mostly blamed on me.

Has Colby gone to Kaunda?
Scowcroft: No. He felt that he should wait for approval.
Kissinger: That is a disgrace.
[Describes the State paper of objections.]}

There isn't one African leader who doesn't govern by physical domination, except maybe Nigeria.

President: Does the paper recommend arms?

Kissinger: We should send Vance with (dollar amount not declassified] Then we should have Mobutu and Kaunda get together and work it out.

Without us, Neto will win. And the argument is, it doesn't matter.
President: What are the odds if we do it?
Kissinger: We will know better when we see the Mobutu plan.
I will send you the Nat Davis paper.4

You have a Zaire economic aid package from Lynn. We would like to give a $20 million economic package for Zaire. Lynn objects because there is no economic justification. He is right, but the political considerations override. This won't hurt us, but the covert action will.

President: I am not sure if we are opposing the Soviets, we are not right.

Kissinger: But those who rant against the Soviets won't follow through on it.

(Omitted here is discussion unrelated to Angola.)


2 W. Beverly Carter, Jr.
3 See footnote 6, Document 115. Brackets are in the original.

4 Presumably a reference to a briefing memorandum from Davis to Sisco, July 12, in which he argued there was no "irrevocable commitment of U.S. power and prestige in Angola." However, should the United States decide to "go in," he proposed the effort should be massive, quick, and decisive. (National Security Council, Ford Administration Intelligence Files, Angola)

118. Memorandum of Conversation?

Washington, July 18, 1975, 9:07–10:12 a.m.


The President
Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for

National Security Affairs
Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, Deputy Assistant to the President for National

Security Affairs


Middle East; Angola; Soviet Grain; SALT; President's Trip

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to Angola.)
President: I have decided on Angola. I think we should go.?
Kissinger: You will have to certify it.
President: I am willing to do it.

Kissinger: We'll send Vance to Mobutu (1 line not declassified) and more if needed, and ask him to come up with a program. It may be too late because Luanda is lost. Unless we can seize it back, it is pretty hopeless. We'll have a resignation from Davis, then I'll clean out the AF bureau.

President: But if we do nothing, we will lose Southern Africa. I think we have an understandable position.

I think we can defend it to the public. I won't let someone in Foggy Bottom deter me.

Kissinger: In six years I have been on the tough side. But I push détente in order to be able to be tough. If we were publicly tough, the Soviet Union would have no incentive. Now, so long as they think we are pushing détente, they will keep their heads down.

Call the Agencies and give them the decision.
[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to Angola.)

Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 282, Memoranda of Conversations, Presidential File, July 1975. Secret; Nodis. The meeting took place in the Oval Office.

2 In a July 21 memorandum for the record on Angola, Ratliff informed members of the 40 Committee that Ford approved the expenditure [text not declassified) for covert action on July 18. (National Security Council, Ford Administration Intelligence Files, 40 Committee Meetings)

119. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in


Washington, July 23, 1975, 0003Z.

172996. Subject: Zaire Aid Package. References: (A) Kinshasa 6755, (B) Kinshasa 6798.2 For Vance from the Secretary.

1. We will provide you with the information you asked for regarding transportation and other costs within 24 hours if possible.

2. I would suggest that you proceed as follows: first, put together a package based on the highest priority items which is in the dols 6 million range. Bear in mind that political action and other programs come out of that total, and CIA estimates transportation can add 25–50 percent to cost. (Your figure of dols 1,200,000 for 5000 M-16s is about half the cost our preliminary estimates show. You should also consider cost of spare parts, etc.)

3. Secondly, put together a package based essentially on Mobotu program as reported in Kinshasa's 6798 and bring that back as well. In the meantime, we will be costing it out. In any event, we will have to look quickly at both programs and assess the impact.

4. Mobutu has been given a (dollar amount not declassified) dollar starter; he knows there are dols (dollar amount not declassified] additionally available if we consider the program realistic. You should tell Mobutu, that if he has some other program in mind which is realistic and offers prospect of success, we will consider it. You should avoid getting into specific figures.



Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, P840178–1901. Secret; Cherokee; Immediate; Nodis. Drafted by Sisco and approved by Kissinger.

2 In telegram 6755 from Kinshasa, July 22, Vance recounted his meeting with Mobutu and listed the President's requests for military hardware. A note on the telegram reads: "General Scowcroft has seen.” In telegram 6798 from Kinshasa, July 22, Vance stated, “What Mobutu wants is for us to replace with U.S. equipment the equipment for all ten battalions which he is sending to Angola from his own reserve and regular forces." A note on the telegram reads: "General Scowcroft has seen." (Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Africa, Box 7, Zaire)

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